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Serious games

Spring 2010 (ART and CISC)

Video games and computer-generated animation are growing fields with tremendous potential for artists, designers, and computer scientists. The development of new media blurs the traditional boundaries between artist and scientist. To use software like Pixar’s Renderman requires both programming skills and artistic skills to bring characters to life. The goal of this Integrated Semester project was to have 20-30 Computer Science majors and 10-20 Art majors co-enroll in two courses, CISC275 Software Engineering I, and ART 467, Senior Studio Design, and work together to design animated short videos about issues of sustainability in simulated environments with constrained resources. Funding from the grant brought four speakers from the serious game industry to campus: Susan Seggerman, co-founder and president of Games for Change, a non-profit organization focused on the use of video games for social change and a blogger for the Huffington Post; Natalie Jeremijenko, an artist and engineer whose work has been exhibited at museums and galleries such as the MASSMoCA, the Whitney, and the Cooper-Hewitt; Brian Winn, Co-Director of the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University; and Len Annetta, Associate Professor of Science Education at North Carolina State University. Ten students in the course also had an opportunity to attend the Games 4 Change Festival in New York City with the faculty coordinators of this project.

Terry Harvey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. His PhD is in Artificial Intelligence, with foci of Natural Language Generation and Multi-Agent Systems, and he devotes his time to teaching, advising, and curriculum design.

Troy Richards received his MFA in 1997 from Cranbrook Art Academy in Bloomfield Hills, MI. He then lived in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. before moving to New York City. Troy Richards has participated in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program and the Artists in the Marketplace Program at the Bronx Museum of Art. He has had solo exhibitions at Grand Arts in Kansas City, Duncan and Miller Gallery in Washington D.C., and a long-term installation at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA. His work has been included in group exhibits in New York City at P.S.1, White Columns, Socrates Sculpture Park, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, LFL Gallery and Gallery 67 among others. His art is included in the collections of the Cranbrook Art Museum and the Queens Museum of Art.